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Dual Study Programmes: The Best of Two Worlds

The student Anna Schürmann combines the bachelor degree programme Smart Engineering with an electrical engineering apprenticeship at Siemens.

The opportunity to combine a study programme and an apprenticeship was what made Anna Schürmann decide to begin the bachelor degree programme Smart Engineering at the St. Pölten UAS. “After completing my interpretation studies, I was searching for a new challenge and as I was always good at mathematics, physics and chemistry at school, it was soon clear that I wanted to enrol in a technical study programme”, says the 24-year-old.

The collaboration between the St. Pölten UAS and Siemens is the first training-integrated study programme in Austria. For Ms Schürmann, the combination of Smart Engineering and an apprenticeship is the perfect match of practical vocational training and scientific studies.

Professional Field: Energy Technician

In parallel with her study programme in St. Pölten, Anna Schürmann completes an electrical engineering apprenticeship at Siemens Energy Austria GmbH. The aim is to pass the skilled worker examination after two and a half years.

After three and a half years, Ms Schürmann will also be awarded the title of Bachelor of Science in Engineering – which comes with top career opportunities. “I am really enjoying studying and working at Siemens at the moment and I can well image staying with Siemens after I’m finished. Energy technology would be my preferred field”, explains the student.

Energy technicians build, maintain and develop the electrical infrastructure of power plants. “Last autumn, we spent a couple of weeks at OMV where we worked on concrete projects. I would very much like to be active in this area in future”, says Ms Schürmann who is currently completing the second semester of her study programme.

Close Knowledge Transfer

Following an intensive working week at Siemens, Anna Schürmann spends Fridays and Saturdays at the St. Pölten UAS where she acquires basic knowledge in the areas of IT, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. After the first two semesters, the students have the option to specialise in the fields of Smart Manufacturing or Smart Automation. The objective of the degree programme is to prepare students for the interdisciplinary realm of Industry 4.0 and to combine the application of digital technologies and innovative business models with cutting-edge industrial production. “In additional to the basics, I mainly learn how to identify problems and challenges in different industrial sectors and how to solve them using digital technologies”, explains Ms Schürmann.

A Penchant for Teamwork

When it comes to finding solutions to problems, Anna Schürmann particularly appreciates working in a team that profits from a high level of diversity in terms of age, professional experience and prior education: “Some of us have completed a secondary technical school, while some have already been working for a couple of years and have gathered professional experience. It is a great advantage for the team to engage in exchange concerning problems and tasks, and we all profit from each other’s experience.” At the St. Pölten UAS, the focus is on a practice-oriented approach to the teaching content as well. “We recently practised using a physical computing kit and thereby gained experience in the programming of tools in a playful way.”

Career in an International Working Environment

Free time is scarce due to the packed apprenticeship and study programme but whenever she can, Ms Schürmann likes to meet friends or go to the gym. Once a year, she visits her mother in Russia. The student grew up in Moscow and speaks Russian, German and English.

Although she is no longer interested in working as an interpreter, she would like to put her language skills to professional use in future as well. “It is definitely a great advantage in an international working environment to speak several languages”, says Ms Schürmann – and the unique combination of an academic study programme and an apprenticeship opens up all kinds of career paths.

Studying Smart Engineering

Virtual & Augmented Reality, the Internet of Things, Cyber Security: Smart Engineering links modern industrial production to digital technologies and the accompanying business models.

In close cooperation with approximately 70 partner companies, the dual study programme Smart Engineering at the St. Pölten UAS brings forth experts in the strongly interdisciplinary subject area of Industry 4.0, always in consideration of the most important factor in production: the person.

You want to know more? Feel free to ask!
FH-Prof. Dr. Felberbauer Thomas, MSc

FH-Prof. Dr. Thomas Felberbauer, MSc

Academic Director Smart Engineering (BA) Department of Media and Digital Technologies